Comparison of Four Poems

T.S Eliot’s Journey of the Magi and The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Bruce Dawe’s Not So Good Earth and Robert Frost’s Out, Out each create pictures within their writing in order to engage the heart and mind of the reader.

All poets implement a variety of techniques within their poems such as personification, symbolism, descriptive language and imagery to elaborate on the notion of engaging the heart and mind of the reader. In doing so, the poets implore the reader to picture the poems ideals, allowing for accentuated engagement within the heart and mind of the reader.

The use of personification within Frost’s Out, Out serves to liken the saw to a dog or a possessed creature. Hence, the buzz saw is forged as a character within Frost’s piece, with its seeming intent to do the boy harm evoking a sense of emotion within the heart and mind of the reader, this is evident within the poem in stanza one, when ‘the buzz saw snarled and rattled.

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’ Whereas Eliot within The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock personifies the yellow smoke accompanied by a strong rhyme and assonance which further enriches engagement within the heart and mind of the reader, this is evident within lines 15-22, with the opening line beginning with exceptional personification, ‘the yellow fog that rubs its back along the window-panes.’

When looking at the end of the poem Out, Out, Frost paints a gruesome image as the boy’s hand is sliced off by the saw, ‘holding up the hand, /Half in appeal, but half as if to keep/The life from spilling.

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’ As this is the first indication that is given that the boy may die, as the word ‘life’ is used instead of ‘blood’ in this instance. Caesura is also used alongside this imagery to engage the mindset and heart of the reader even further, as the pause after ‘life’ is prevalent which slows down the pace. Frost also makes the appropriate utilisation of alliteration through such ‘h’ sounds and assonance in the soft ‘a’ sounds of ‘half’ and ‘hand’ which allude to the sense and notion that time is moving slowly as the boy begins to grasp the severity of the situation at hand, this all alluding even further to the notion of engaging the reader through forming images emotionally grasping the heart and mind. Whereas Eliot in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock indicates that Prufrock is lacking self-esteem, this is evident through the imagery in lines 57-61 when he describes himself as an insect ‘pinned and wriggling on the wall.’ As the final lines of the poem (121-123) encapsulate the idea of engaging the heart and mind of the reader even further through some exceptional ocean imagery, including the singing of mermaids and sea-girls wearing seaweed. Accompanied by one of the poems most creative metaphors, the white capped waves are compared to ‘white hair.

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Comparison of Four Poems. (2019, Nov 28). Retrieved from

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